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A review of liming as a technique for protecting salmonid fish populations in acidified surface waters

Salgado, J; Shilland, EM; Battarbee, RW; (2013) A review of liming as a technique for protecting salmonid fish populations in acidified surface waters. (ECRC Research Report 156 ). UCL Environmental Change Research Centre: London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

Liming is a common technique that has been used in many countries to raise the alkalinity of acidified surface waters and alleviate some of the damaging effects of acidification on salmonid fish populations. The most common liming substance used is calcite, a calcium carbonate compound that is relatively inexpensive, available in different particle sizes and dissolves relatively quickly. It can be applied directly to streams or lakes or it can be applied to catchment soils. When applied to catchment soils its effect can be long-lasting but it can cause significant damage to those catchment plant and animal communities that are naturally adapted to acidic conditions. When applied directly to surface waters its effect can be immediate but applications need to be continuous or frequently repeated to counter downstream dilution and loss. For streams the most effective method is to use an automatic doser controlled by pHmeasuring sensors upstream and downstream of the doser to enable the exact quantity of lime needed to be added to the water body. Although effective this is an expensive method and one that needs to be maintained continuously for several years until the critical load exceedance has been eliminated. An alternative or complementary method is partial catchment liming by targeting water sources and selected wetlands to minimise damage to catchment vegetation. Liming can be very effective in restoring and protecting salmonid fish populations, but if over-applied it can lead to unwanted increases in alkalinity and productivity that may produce symptoms of eutrophication and unwanted changes in the composition of plant and algal communities downstream.

Type: Report
Title: A review of liming as a technique for protecting salmonid fish populations in acidified surface waters
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.geog.ucl.ac.uk/research/research-centr...
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10114767
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